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Best Club Sport: Sailing


Provided by Griffin Sanders

Are you looking to join a fun and inclusive social organization in hopes of finding your Clemson Family? Do you love being out on the water? Look no further than Clemson’s Best Club Sport by vote: the Sailing Club.

When asked about the club’s appeal, Commodore Jackie Hanna summed it up easily: “We have it all.” 

Since 1969, Clemson’s Sailing Club has taken full advantage of the University’s proximity to Lake Hartwell.

It was founded by five students who were searching for their unique place at Clemson and decided to band together. Those five students would be proud of the Sailing Club today, as over 50 years later, it continues to provide opportunities for students of all experience levels to learn how to sail, race competitively or even just relax by the water with their friends. With over 500 current members, there is undoubtedly something for everyone. 

One of the most enticing aspects of this club is its ability to make sailing accessible for anyone, despite the sport typically being geographically and financially inaccessible. The club offers students “the ability to learn a life-long skill and have full-time access to a fleet of boats while still in college,” according to Hanna.

We all know that Clemson prides itself on its athletic programs; many people want the opportunity to say they were part of a team during their time here. Being a part of the Sailing club allows hundreds of students to represent Clemson in sporting events and does not exclude students who may not have any experience. 

People with sailing experience may just as easily find their place on the racing team, which travels every weekend to compete against other high-level sailing programs. But do not feel discouraged if you have no prior experience, as people with no sailing experience may choose to learn how to sail and oftentimes become some of the club’s most active sailors. 

Hanna, who grew up sailing in Charleston, South Carolina, spotted the boat during her first Tiger Prowl and, after a very welcoming introduction to the members, immediately knew she had found her place at Clemson. 

Upon joining the club, Hanna discovered a tradition known as “Fridays at four,” which has created some of her favorite memories as a sailor. 

Essentially, every Friday around 4 p.m. during the warmer months, club members gather at the docks to grill, hang out and go sailing to relax after the long week. It’s a fun and relaxing way to spend quality time with other sailors and, since the club encompasses over 500 students, provides an opportunity for more club members to bond. And anyway, who wouldn’t want to jump in the lake on a warm day?

If you’re interested in joining, you can request membership via TigerQuest or visit the Sailing Club at the next Tiger Prowl in the fall. 

Instagram: @clemsonsailing

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Kelly Kaelblein, Asst. Sports Editor
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